David Tapalian
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Side Impact Accidents

Providence Attorney Experienced in Motor Vehicle Collision Cases

All motor vehicle collisions are dangerous to the drivers and passengers involved. However, when a vehicle is hit by another vehicle on its side, the injuries are more likely to be serious or even deadly. Often, these side impact accidents are due to another driver’s careless maneuvers. When a victim is seriously injured by another person’s negligent acts on the road, that reckless driver should be held legally liable. Providence car accident lawyer David Tapalian helps victims of side impact crashes pursue proper legal action in order to assert their right to compensation for their injuries. Tapalian Law has represented car accident victims and their families in personal injury cases for over 15 years, making sure that their legal rights are zealously protected so that they can spend their time focusing on recovering. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

Dangers of Side Impact Accidents

Since the side of a vehicle does not offer the same protections as its front or back, when a side impact accident (also known as a broadside collision) occurs, the potential for serious injuries and fatalities increases. In a front or rear crash, a car’s hood or the length of the seats and trunk create barriers that act as protection for passengers and drivers. The same is not true when only the width of a door and airbags come between passengers and the vehicle striking them.

Often, side impact accidents occur at intersections, which is especially common when a driver runs a red light or stop sign or otherwise does not yield the right of way. Accidents involving a vehicle running a red light are estimated to injure over 150,000 people nationwide each year, as well as leading to almost 900 fatalities. Additionally, in 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that side impact crashes alone contributed to almost 3,000 fatalities in the United States. When an accident leads to serious injuries or a fatality, victims and their families have legal recourse to pursue compensation associated with their loss.

Holding a Negligent Driver Responsible for a Side Impact Accident

People who sustain injuries in a side impact collision may be entitled to damages in a personal injury lawsuit if the negligence of one or more drivers contributed to their injuries. To show negligence, a victim must prove that a driver owed them a duty to act as a reasonable person would act given the circumstances, and the duty was breached by the driver’s actions, causing the victim’s injuries and resulting in damages. All Massachusetts and Rhode Island drivers owe other motorists and their passengers a duty of reasonable care. If a driver speeds through a red light and causes a side impact crash, they may be found negligent. If negligence is shown, a victim may recover damages related to past and future medical expenses, lost income from time spent away from work, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other forms of harm. When a side impact crash claims the life of a victim, certain family members may pursue a wrongful death claim on their behalf to aid in covering medical and funeral expenses, as well as loss of support or consortium.

When a victim has also acted negligently in causing their own injuries, they may still be entitled to compensation. In Rhode Island, victims may receive damages in proportion to the defendant’s degree of fault. This means that, even if a victim is found 30 percent responsible, they may still receive 70 percent of their costs from another negligent party. Massachusetts follows a modified comparative fault scheme for awarding damages, barring recovery for victims who are found to have been over 50 percent responsible for an accident.

Contact a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer in Providence

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a side impact accident, Providence attorney David Tapalian can assist you in determining your next legal steps. Our firm helps clients across Rhode Island and Massachusetts from our offices in Providence and Seekonk. You can contact us online or at (401) 552-5000 to discuss your legal rights with a motor vehicle collision lawyer at no cost.